The sunshine is warmer. The daffodils are blooming. The ground has been waiting to burst with growth, indicating that the start of the golf season is here! Spring is your opportunity to give attention to that same ground. It holds clues for how to make your practice swings produce better results on the golf course!

You’ve probably been to the range searching for keys from last year’s good ball striking moments. Unfortunately, many of you have to practice on mats. That surface can mask your sense of what constitutes efficient ball/club contact. The truth is that pure contact involves hitting the whole ball first and then the ground. Mats can disguise that.

As you transition to the golf course, you might think that taking 6 practice air swings will prepare you for your best shot ever. Not true! In fact, that air swing is reinforcing missing the ball and the ground! The number one factor you seem to be rehearsing is speed. You make impressive noise, but the motion is too fast and is nothing more than a blurry flail…with NO ground contact!  Have a look at the practice motions the Tour Pros rely on. They are almost always SLOW and deliberate, involving ground feedback. With your excessive speed, you gain no clear picture of anything. Impressing your buddies with speed will not produce the good shots you seek!

The on course iron approach shot you’re about to hit demands that your club hit the ground.  How about practicing that!  Make it your intention to hit the ground, crisply. That allows your hands to be part of the solution, since your hands are the only connection you have with the club!  This is especially important when you have any kind of abnormal or uneven lie. WHERE the club’s edge hits the ground is critical for you to observe, so you can choose the adjusted ball position for your shot.  Your new rehearsal practice swings should be done with purpose, seeking ground contact, and without Mach 1 speed!

1. Pick a small object on the ground to aim at.

2. Make a motion that produces a strike through that object into the ground. Register   that feel and remember it as you step into your real shot’s launching pad.

3. Intend to HIT down through the ground on your way to your full balanced finish!

The days of multiple practice air swings are over. Commit to taking practice hits encountering the ground with intention. The results will be groundbreaking!